Instagram’s fight to stay ahead of Snapchat involves stealing its best features so that users have no reason to switch. That continues today with the introduction of Face Filters, which, just like Snapchat’s, apply things like glasses, hats, animal ears, and more to your selfies.
Instagram hasn’t really suffered during the rise of Snapchat; it’s now growing faster than ever after surpassing the 700 million user milestone. But in an effort to ensure that won’t change, it has been ripping off popular Snapchat features to prevent users from wandering.
Instagram picked up its own Stories feature last August, followed by stickers and the ability to send disappearing messages. Now it is adopting Face Filters, a feature popularized by Snapchat but already offered by Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012.
Face Filters on Instagram work exactly as they do on Snapchat: You point the camera at your face, and the app automatically applies cute and humorous effects, such as glasses and crowns, hats and headbands, animal ears and noses, and more.
You can preview some of the filters in the promo video below.
Face Filters can not only be applied to still images, but also videos and Boomerang clips. You can then send them directly to your friends or add them to your Story, but strangely, you won’t get the option to publish them in your feed.
Instagram has also added the ability to post videos that play backwards with a new Rewind feature (another inspired by Snapchat), and a customizable hashtag sticker that you can apply to your images.